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Hunger & Poverty
Ft. Caroline Presbyterian Church, which I serve as interim pastor, is 60 years old and has long passed its “glory days.” It’s in the Arlington area in Jacksonville, Florida, a neighborhood in the midst of transition. When I arrived nearly four years ago as the part-time ecumenical pastor, we were worshiping alongside about 20 people. We have only two couples in their 50s; most worshipers are 70-98 years of age.
For the first time in recent years, the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is hosting one of its Travel Study Seminars in the United States, focusing on a place that’s been in the headlines for a variety of reasons.
As pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, Missouri, my job is to make things happen that are sometimes out of the box — like starting a food pantry for musicians.
If there wasn’t an organization like Creation Justice Ministries, Presbyterian Hunger Program coordinator the Rev. Rebecca Barnes says her ministry would want to create one.
For 40 years, the World Hunger Ecumenical Arizona Task Force (WHEAT) has been tackling hunger in the Grand Canyon State through education, advocacy and empowerment. But there is one thing people are consistently surprised the organization does not do.“When you hear about a hunger program, the first thing you think of is food boxes and meal service,” says WHEAT executive director Dr. Tamera Zivic. “But we don’t do that.”
Charles Atkins serves as chair of the Justice Committee for the Presbytery of New York City, and late last year, one of his committee members came to him with an opportunity he had never thought of.She was Sue Rheem, whose day job is mission specialist for the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations (PMUN), and she thought Atkins would be a prime candidate to be a Presbyterian delegate to the United Nations Commission for Social Development (CSocD) in February.
From February 8-10, and again by conference call on March 12, the Presbyterian Central America study team outlined the chief concerns and questions facing the region and its churches.
The Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis was delivering an impromptu sermon at the end of a long, hot day riding around Western Kentucky on a bumpy bus when she turned to the story of a leper who approached Jesus.“The leper said, ‘If you choose, you can heal me,’” Theoharis said. “’If you choose, you can heal me.’“Now that leper had gone a lot of places up to that point. He went to the HMOs of his day, and they turned him away. He went to the hospitals nearby, they had closed down. But Jesus traveled around the land opening up free healthcare clinics, never charged a co-pay. The leper said to Jesus, ‘If you choose, you can heal me.’“The question before us this afternoon is, ‘Do we choose?’”
Each member of Spencer Presbyterian Church in Spencer, West Virginia had their own reasons for wanting to put solar panels on the church.
With eradicating systemic poverty as one of the three goals of the Matthew 25 invitation, Presbyterian Mission Agency Board members took two hours Thursday to hear from a panel what’s being done about it and, around round tables, to discuss poverty’s implications and challenges for congregations, mid councils and other groups.